HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. - The substantial height difference between the two leading candidates for U.S. presidency has prompted the Commission on Presidential Debates to address it for tonight's debate.
Both Hillary Clinton (5'4") and Donald Trump (6'2") were to stand at custom-built lecterns for Monday’s debate, with Clinton's tailored to mitigate the very noticeable height difference between the two.
Pre-debate photos taken at Hofstra University, whose David Mack Sports & Exhibition Complex is the site of the 90-minute debate, show the crew setting up the stage, with two lecterns and a much lower moderator's desk at which commentator Lester Holt will be seated. The taller lectern is for Trump, the shorter version for Clinton - hers accompanied by an unfinished plywood stand that will erase the height difference when viewed on camera.
Clinton will stand at the shorter of the two lecterns, but both candidates will hover over the tops by roughly the same amount. Hers features lower edges at the top, scaled-down a bit from the Trump version.
Finished versions with students standing in for the candidates and the moderator showed blue, black and silver paint scheme for the lecterns. Each features a bi-level top section that slanting down toward the speaker, roughly two feet high, and lined in oak-grain panel, finished with a golden oak stain.
A moderator's desk incorporates curved front design. An estimated 100 million viewers were expected to view the debate, starting at 9 p.m. EST and airing across several major networks.
Hofstra University hosted presidential debates in 2008 between then-Senator Barack Obama and Senator John McCain and in 2012 between President Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney. It is the only university to host three consecutive presidential debates.